Spy Games and Secrets

Matthew Quirk opens the dossier on thriller writing

Laurie Shaull (Flickr/number7cloud)
Laurie Shaull (Flickr/number7cloud)

Our guest this week is New York Times best-selling novelist Matthew Quirk, who went from being a reporter at The Atlantic to writing thrillers about government fixers and special agents. His latest book is Hour of the Assassin, about an ex-Secret Service agent who tests the security protecting public officials for weaknesses that might allow killers to break through. That is, until his latest assignment ends in … a setup! Quirk’s previous books have dealt with every manner of agent, from the FBI and special ops to con men and consultants. He joins us to talk about his approach to writing thrillers, how he avoids getting scooped by the news, and what fiction of all kinds has to offer us in dark times.

Go beyond the episode:

Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek and sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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